“'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
He watched as Ron took her into his arms, pulling her further onto the dance floor. It was his eighteenth birthday party and he just sat in the corner watching his two best mates dancing and laughing, all the while wondering if he had something like that with Ginny… wishing that he’d one day find it.
As the song ended he made his way onto the floor, bypassing an obviously annoyed Ginny as he walked up to his two friends.
“May I cut in?”
Ron turned to him with a wide grin plastered onto his face. “Well if it isn’t the’ boy who lived’-”
“Ron,” Hermione groaned, slapping his arm lightly, as she was well aware of Harry’s aversion to that terribly unoriginal nick name.
Ron raised his hands. “Fine, fine—I concede, but just so you know, Potter, I’m watching you, those hands better not go anywhere too low.”
With a chuckle he promised them that he’d control himself.
“So… what’s on your mind?” Hermione asked him as he, somewhat awkwardly, led her around the dance floor.
“You two look happy.”
She smiled. “well I doubt he’s the love of my life, or that I’m his, but, yeah, I’m happy, he’s good to me—for me.”
Harry’s eyes widened in surprise. “Not the love of your life?”
She let out a small chuckle. “Come on Harry, I’m only eighteen! It’s an important step in my life, and I’m sure it’ll be a defining relationship… I mean he’s taught me so much about just letting go, if it weren’t for him I’d probably have had a nervous break down by now. However, I doubt that we’re meant for one another… we’re just… destined to be best mates, I suppose.”
“I thought the point of dating was to find your soul mate.”
“That’s for the girly girls out there.”
He cocked an eyebrow at her. “Really?”
She blushed, burying her head in his chest. “Okay, so maybe I think that it’s a relationship that prepares you for that final one… the true love. Like those are the necessary steps that you need to take to become that person that you need to be to be with your soul mate.”
“That sounded awfully girly there Granger.”
“Shut up Potter; don’t mock me and my only remaining romantic fantasy.”
“I never mock Granger, merely comment. Plus, I love you too much to ridicule you.”
“And then there’s the fact that I could out smart you any day…” she quipped lightly.
one year later:
“It’s been far too long mate,” Neville greeted him with a hug once he reached their table in the Three Broomsticks. “God, I missed this place, so glad you picked it.”
Harry grinned. “Figured it’d be a great place to meet up, seeing as I haven’t seen you in a year, so worse comes to worse you and I can rehash in our old memories if we find that we have nothing to talk about.”
“There’s that positive Harry Potter that I know and love!” he laughed jovially at the statement.
“Well, if I’m anything it’s consistent.”
“So how are you, Harry? Last I saw, you were still moping over Hermione’s departure… and that was a year after she left.”
Harry shrugged. “I still miss her, can’t help it. I mean she doesn’t even have time to write more than once a week, albeit they are seven page letters, but still…”
“It’s the principle of the matter, right?” Neville asked with a knowing smile.
“See I love how after Hogwarts you suddenly became so all knowing, Nev, really makes it so much easier for me.”
“You’re welcome.” They sat in a comfortable silence, each focusing on reading the menu, until Neville finally interrupted it. “Are you really okay?”
Harry sighed. “I should have expected that one.” He put down the menu, raising a hand to rub his temples. “Honestly? I miss her… I can’t help but miss her.”
“It’s been two years Harry; I would have thought that you’d get used to it by now.”
“So would I, but it’s—it’s just like the more I don’t see her, the more haunted I am by my memories of her. I can’t stop thinking about her…”
“Here I thought that’d be a good thing, means you haven’t forgotten about her.”
“If I tell you something you have to promise not to tell anyone, Nev, anyone.”
Neville rolled his eyes slightly. “Come on, Harry, it’s me, you know I’m not like that.”
He paused for a second, leaning in nervously as he whispered “I think I’m falling in love with her.”
Neville gave him a perplexed look in response. “I thought you said you haven’t seen her since she left.”
Harry groaned. “I haven’t… it’s just… like when I’m left with these memories of her all I can do is analyze our past, every moment we’ve spent together. I mean, at first it was just my guilt over not having been a better mate to her, but then… I don’t know, it just sort of manifested into something more…”
“So what are you going to do about it?”
Harry shrugged, a pained frown marring his face. “Nothing I can do.”
Neville looked at him so pityingly that he almost regretted admitting it to him just then. “Harry, mate-”
“No, she’s given up so much for me, I’m not about to take something else away from her now. I can’t do that to her again.”
“So what, you’re going to go and shag every girl in London until you find the love of you life?”
Harry gave him a pained smile. “Well I haven’t really worked out all of the details yet.”
Neville frowned. “But that’s pretty much the gist of it, isn’t it?”
“I just—I need to get my mind off of her,” Harry reasoned.
“Seems like a pretty stupid mondus operandi to me.”
He shrugged noncommittally. “Well I was never known for my tact anyway.”
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